Friday, August 12, 2016

Retro Hi-Fi Girl Friday


  1. She has a sour look. Maybe from the godawful rumble of those gearshift turntables-you didn't hear it on the air because the bass response wasn't there, but in the booth, it probably came through fine.

    1. Those gearshift turntables were mono. Mono reproduction had no rumble; the needle only have lateral movement. Rumble problems started with stereo, because you need to move the needle in a vertical and lateral way. Rumble is vertical.

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  3. Payola and Rek-O-Kuts and hanky panky, sounds like a good gig.

  4. She has that Scottish Wife look

  5. Rumble is simply low frequency vibration and it occurs in all three axes. Stereo using the 45/45 system does reproduce a particular mode of rumble, but rumble is quite audible with either lateral or hill-and-dale mono as well as stereo.

    Also, there is no such thing as a "mono" or "stereo" or "quad" turntable, the cartridge and wiring fitted in the tone arm determine that. Most broadcast tables were sold with tonearms and carts separately.

    These old rim or idler drive tables were designed for two things: durability in 24/7 service and to come up to speed fast when engaged. AM broadcast high pass filtered everything below a certain LF cutoff, so rumble was not a design characteristic. When FM and FM stereo came out, the rumble of these tables was something that was put up with, but most bigger stations would transcribe most popular material in rotation to broadcast cart tape machines, and the heavy Russcos and Lencos were often replaced by Japanese direct drive tables of the types popular with disco DJs and rap/scratch artists. Not so much for sonics as because it was cheaper to buy a new one once a year than have an engineer rebuild the old broadcast table.

    I have two of these old warhorses in my attic, salvaged from local broadcast stations when they threw them out. They were too beautifully made to throw out, but from an audiophile perspective they are godawful. My working vinyl rig is a LP12 with Cirkus bearing and my homemade motor controller. The Sondek IS insanely overpriced in terms of build cost but it survives for one reason-properly set up (which takes some duespaying to learn) it sounds better than anything else before or since.


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